Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Don't Feel Forgiven

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

My children don’t respond to yelling. I can get angry and raise my voice to them, but it just tends to roll off their backs. I have learned there is nothing like a quiet, calm voice to get their attention, and when appropriate move them to repentance. When forgiveness is asked for it is always granted, but most of the time the sobbing continues even after they hear the words, “I forgive you.” They cling to me with every bit of strength they have in them. I don’t know if it is because they are ashamed of their sin that they hide their face in my shirt and refuse to let go, or that they don’t believe me that they really are forgiven. My guess is it is probably the second of the two.

Do you ever feel that way? You hear your pastor, or your spouse, or your friend say the words, “I forgive you,” but you don’t believe them. How can I possibly be forgiven? I mean, do you know what I’ve done?

It was because God knew your sin that he sent your Savior.

*In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight Ephesians 1:7-8

*Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39

God’s forgiveness doesn’t just cover the “pretty” sins, it covers everything. We are free! Even in the times you may not feel forgiven, you are. The times you may not feel God’s presence, he’s there. The times you may not even begin to comprehend the kind of love that is obedient to the point of death, it exists and it is ours.

Listen to God say to you in his calm, quiet voice, “Take heart my son (daughter) your sins are forgiven.” Know that it was true yesterday, is today, and will be again tomorrow. Cling to him being confident in his promises and refuse to let go. He refuses to let you go.

When Jesus said, “It is finished,” he meant it. The sacrifice is complete, once, for all.

Forgiving Father,

I hear the words that tell me I am forgiven, but at times it is so hard to believe. Help me to know without a doubt that though I do not deserve your love and compassion, I have it in abundance through the death and resurrection of my Savior. Help me to say to my guilt and my doubt, "It is finished." In Jesus Name, Amen.

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